Web Server Security on Apache

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Introduction

Find use cases for improving web server security by taking advantage of Apache's built-in features and security module add-ons. Apache is the world's most popular web server, and has many security settings and add-ons which can significantly improve web server security.

Use Case: Web Server Security

The user in these scenarios runs a popular website. As the site grows in popularity, so does the potential for security issues and damage from malware and malicious user attacks. The user wishes to increase the security on the server in order to protect the data and users.

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Scenario 1: Adding SSL

In this scenario, the user wishes to create and install an SSL certificate on the Apache web server. SSL is a critical component of any security set-up, and is the first line of defense against basic security vulnerabilities.

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Scenario 2: Protecting Against DoS and DDoS Attacks

In this scenario, the user wishes to improve the server's ability to protect against Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

The solution in this case is to install and configure the mod_evasive Apache module. This module maintains a dynamic list of IP addresses, and blocks access to the web server from any IP address which engages in suspicious behavior, such as sending too many HTTP requests per second.

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Scenario 3: Blocking Malware and Hacking Attempts

In this scenario, the user is looking for a solution to web-based malware and hacking attempts.

The best security solution for Apache is the ModSecurity Apache module. This is a web application firewall (WAF) which can be configured with many rulesets including the popular OWASP Core Ruleset, to detect and prevent attacks including SQL injection, session hijacking, cross-site scripting, Trojans, and more.

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